The Beta is a regular-fit waterproof jacket, as opposed to the Arc’teryx Beta LT model, which is a slimmer fit. I have been testing the small (S) size, which is very roomy and offers enough space for a few layers underneath.
There are only three colours to choose from, ranging from black to dull ochre. The seven women’s sizes – from XXS to XXL– cover a good range.
At 268g for a women’s Small, it’s a lightweight jacket with a bluesign-approved fabric that feels equally durable and lightweight enough to stow away in a backpack.
The ‘Gore C-Knit backer’ is soft and makes the jacket quite quiet. Sandwiched in between is a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane. Arc’teryx does not use hydrostatic head figures as a guide to performance. I found that the wind and rain stayed out, and I noticed very little dampness from sweat inside.
The hood has a wide and stiffened peak, but it is let down by the single volume adjuster. When I reduced the volume to fit, the peak didn’t offer adequate rain protection. The WaterTight zips are more water-resistant rather than fully waterproof and the front zip is one-way, rather than two-way. On the plus side, there is a soft fabric chin guard, as well as three zipped pockets, including two hand pockets at the right height for wearing with a rucksack, as well as an internal zipped laminated pocket that is big enough to accommodate a large smartphone.
I also really like the large zip pulls, which are durable and can be used whilst wearing gloves.
The Beta is a high performer, with a price to match.